by Tom Wallace
River and trail seen from I-275 bridge south of Loveland. Photo by Eric Partee, ca. 1990
It was a close-run thing.
- Winston Churchill, commenting on the Battle of Britain following the British victory
Well, Sir Winston, so was the Little Miami Scenic Trail. There were some “close calls” involved in converting abandoned railroad tracks into a first-rate multi-use trail; had these close calls gone the wrong way, it would have been much more difficult, if not impossible. For example:
Money, always in short supply it seems, was particularly tight at the beginning. Little Miami Inc. (LMI) had been deeply involved in getting the river designated a National Wild and Scenic River, and that gave it some credibility and stature.
LMI was the catalyst in setting up a pivotal meeting in Senator Howard Metzenbaum’s office in Washington. Also present were Senator John Glenn; Chris Delaporte, Director of the federal Bureau of Outdoor Recreation; LMI officials; and others. At the senators’ urging, Delaporte agreed to come to southwestern Ohio to evaluate the proposed scenic trail.
If that hadn’t happened, the trail might never have happened.